Can musicians speak without words

Without words - music about and for headache sufferers

Of course, this selection can only be totally personal, subjective and have gaps as large as the Mariana Trench. But above all, it should and can be modified, supplemented or even completely redone by anyone.

For me, it's not about the songs whether they're actually about migraines or headaches. Much more they reflect aspects of my illness and have to do with states and moods. This is why the following applies to this list: Nothing is too banal, nothing too embarrassing (with the exception of “Hurts So Good” by John Mellencamp - that just doesn't work).

However, it starts with a serious and serious piece of music:

10. Richard Wagner "Siegfried, 1st act"

There are many indications that Richard Wagner, himself suffering from migraines, processed a migraine attack and aura in the prelude to the opera "Siegfried". At least that's what research claims.

Compulsive plague! Effort with no purpose!

Less classic, but now awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature:

9. Bob Dylan "Make you feel my love"

I have listened to Bob Dylan at all stages of my life (through puberty, “Blond on Blond” helped me) even when I had to deal with my illness. His album “Time out of Mind” - exceptional time, time outside of my mind, being out of my mind - described how I often felt back then. It is probably one of the most beautiful love songs that Bob Dylan has ever written: "Make you feel my love". If you ignore this connection, someone is just trying to cheat pieces of consolation and affection between the adversities of life.

When the rain is blowing in your face // and the whole world is on your case // I could offer a warm embrace // to make you feel my love

Anyone who says Bob Dylan must also say Neil Young:

8. Neil Young "Helpless"

Self-explanatory title. The song actually comes from the very early days with Crazy Horse, but the unplugged version from the summer of 1993 exudes a magical calm that gives you confidence again.

Big birds flying across the sky // Throwing shadows on our eyes

7. Daniel Johnston "Life in Vain"

Daniel Johnston is one of the tragic heroes of pop music. Blessed with unbelievable talent, psychotic episodes repeatedly ended the beginnings of a great career (even if music greats like Sonic Youth or Kurt Cobain tried again and again to help him to his feet). His songs are so exposed and fragile that it seems impossible to find so much sparkling and sparkling in this gloom. But it is there.

Everybody is wearing a frown // Waiting for Santa to come to town

Before I lose myself here completely and it gets too dark, here's something with uplifting beats and tendencies:

6. Alanis Morisssette "Ironic"

Migraines and headaches are not without irony: People who suffer from them are said to be more sensitive, more creative and generally extraordinary. I can do well without “exceptional”.

An old man turned ninety-eight // He won the lottery and died the next day ... Life has a funny way of sneaking up on you // Life has a funny, funny way of helping you out.

5. Joni Mitchell "Big Yellow Taxi"

Unfortunately, the sayings of parents, uncles and aunts never sounded so funky. But in the end they didn't mean anything else when they started by saying that health was the most important thing.

Exactly, the main thing is healthy.

Don’t it always seem to go // That you don’t know what you’ve got till it's gone?

4. Frédéric Chopin, Nocturne in E flat major

Despite the migraines, Fréderic Chopin wrote the most wonderful pieces. Or maybe because of that? He and his colleague Claude Debussy suffered from the disease. Debussy reports attacks and nightmares lasting eight hours. How music and the brain are related can be read in the clever and entertaining book by Oliver Sacks The One-Armed Pianist: About Music and the Brain ”.

How strange it is to see an entire species - billions of people playing and listening to meaningless sound patterns, who spend a great deal of their time doing what they call music and are completely lost in it. (Oliver Sacks)

3. R.E.M. "Everybody Hurts"

No question about it, this piece collects various forms of pain in just 5:20 minutes and still manages to send a little bit of hope into the world.

Everybody hurts // Take comfort in your friend

2. Johann Sebastian Bach "Cello Suite No. 1 in G major"

KEY LINE: Without words.

1. Johnny Cash "Hurt"

This song should top all the pain lists in the world. Why not. Among all the men of pain, Johnny Cash was a very big one.

I focus on the pain // The only thing that's real

Out of competition:

Prince "Purple Rain"

Prince died last year of an overdose of fentanyl, a highly potent pain reliever. The story made me infinitely sad because Prince had suffered from chronic hip pain for years and even the best doctors could not help him. It is said that for years he could only manage his lavish stage shows with pain killers. R.I.P.

I never meant to cause you any sorrow // I never meant to cause you any pain // I only wanted one time to see you laughing // I only wanted to see you laughing in the purple rain

Birgit's playlist with songs about migraines and headaches can be found on the M-sense Spotify account. Send us your personal migraine & headache songs and we will add them to the playlist.